Pair Debugging and applied rationality

by toonalfrink3 comments


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Pair debugging is a staple of applied rationality. Humans aren't really all that smart on their own. Our intelligence is distributed. You don't get very far by thinking by yourself.

Before we start, I'll teach a rationality technique. These techniques can be used explicitly as a structured conversation, or they can be applied freestyle whenever.

Minimum prep: bring a bugs list! This is a list of n things that you would like to improve about your life. Here's some examples:

- "I often don't fall asleep quickly enough on evenings before workdays"
- "I want to work for an early phase startup for my next job, but I don't know how to get in contact with startups in that phase"
- "Despite being poly I seem to have a mental block around flirting even when there is clear interest from the other side"
- etc

Optional prep: read some of the CFAR handbook at

Rough schedule:

14:00 - welcome
± 15:00 - meditation session
± 15:15 - lecture & practice
± 16:30 - done
± 19:00 - grab some dinner together
± 22:00 - closing

Come whenever, but try not to come during the meditation.

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The last time I spoke with someone from CFAR, they told me that they don't want their brand to be used that way. You might teach your understand of a technique that CFAR teaches, but asserting that it's the technique as CFAR teaches seeems to step needlessly over their boundaries.

I'm curious where this complaint comes from. Is their stuff often misrepresented?

Changed it in any case. Is this what you meant?

Concerns about idea innoculation were part of what was holding the publishing of the handbook back for a while.

From their perspective, it frequently happens that someone tries a technique, it doesn't do anything for them. At the same time if they would be properly taught the technique via CFAR it would have an effect for them.